Ghana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry has ordered foreign retail shops to reopen for business following what it described as extensive consultation with the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Ministry of National Security, the Nigerian High Commission and other relevant institutions.
A statement signed by Trade Minister, Alan Kyerematen, said all affected shops or retail outlets that were closed as a result of the operations of a Taskforce on Retail Trade it set up to implement a law that prohibits foreigners from retail business, should be reopened with immediate effect.
The ministry also informed the general public that the National Committee on Retail Trade will continue to ensure that all businesses operating in the retail trade sector of the country ‘are given the opportunity and support to regularise their operations and comply with the laws and regulations in the country.’
“The Ministry takes this opportunity to assure the general public, particularly the international community that there is NO orchestrated action by the Government or any State Institution targeted at Nigerian nationals or any particular foreign nationals operating businesses in Ghana are under any form of threat. On the contrary, Ghanaians are internationally acknowledged as very hospitable are friendly particularly to foreign nationals”.
“In this regard, all owners of the affected businesses and shops are requested to contact the relevant State Institutions and Agencies to regularize their operations as required by the various bodies under reference,” it stated.
The Trade Ministry has affirmed its commitment to collaborate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, as well as GUTA and the Diplomatic Missions to implement a comprehensive sensitization programme to enhance cooperation among all stakeholders engaged in the retail trade in the country.
The directive comes after some Nigerians staged a demonstration in Abuja to protest the perceived intimidation of Nigerian businesses in Ghana.
The protesters claimed that Ghanaian authorities have so far closed some 400 shops belonging to Nigerians. They went ahead to present their petition to the ECOWAS office in Nigeria, asking for their intervention.